Home>News>Nation>Secretary Gatchalian assures Albay gov, mayors, congressmen DSWD Bicol Field Office ‘aggressively managing situation’

Secretary Gatchalian assures Albay gov, mayors, congressmen DSWD Bicol Field Office ‘aggressively managing situation’

Rex Gatchalian

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian on Friday (June 9) assured the governor, congressmen and mayors of Albay province that the DSWD Bicol regional office has been “aggressively managing the situation” on the ground in preparation for the possible eruption of Mayon volcano.

The DSWD chief personally called Albay Governor Edcel Greco Lagman as well as congressmen in the province to assure them that relief goods have long been pre-positioned and that the Department’s Field Office V has been busy conducting emergency meetings as part of the preparations for a worst case scenario.

The target of the DSWD Central Office is to pre-position 102,000 family food packs (FFPs) in various warehouses which are nearest to the cities and municipalities which have been the most affected by the previous Mayon eruptions.

Secretary Gatchalian said Bicol Regional Director Norman Laurio is on top of the situation and has already met and talked with the mayors of 10 cities and municipalities in Albay province which are expected to be severely affected by the possible volcanic eruption.

The DSWD Filed Office V regional director reported to Secretary Gatchalian that FFPs have already been prepositioned in strategic warehouses in Albay to make sure that the affected families will be swiftly given relief goods in the evacuation centers.

Director Laurio said the Albay cities and municipalities expected to be most affected by the possible Mayon eruption include Guinobatan, Camalig, Daraga, Tabaco City, Malilipot, Sto. Domingo, Bacacay, Ligao City, Daraga and Legaspi City.

Based on the data on 2018 Mayon eruption as well as predictive analysis, Guinobatan and Camalig have the most number of evacuees, according to the DSWD Bicol regional office.

“Ang primary objective po natin is preparing for the worst possible scenario without compromising the lives of would-be affected families,” Director Laurio told the DSWD chief.

During the past two days, Director Laurio has been visiting and calling the mayors of the affected cities and towns to check on their available resources and possible needs.

DSWD FO V officials also initiated meetings with the City and Municipal Action Team leaders and members for preparedness and response actions on the potential impacts of Mayon’s possible eruption. This was held Wednesday at the DSWD Regional Operation Center in Barangay Buraguis, Legaspi City.

“The emergency meeting aimed to discuss, plan and strategize necessary measures to address the potential consequences of the current volcanic unrest of Mt. Mayon. The purpose of the meeting is also to refresh and ensure preparedness and establish a response framework to effectively assist and support affected communities in the event of a volcanic eruption,” Director Laurio reported.

As of Thursday (June 8), the Quick Response Team (QRT) of the Social Welfare and Development Office(SWDO) in Albay has already been activated, according to Director Laurio.

Also last Thursday, an emergency meeting for preparedness and response was called by the Albay Provincial Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) to discuss safety protocols and preparations for the possible eruption.

The meeting was presided by Governor Lagman and was attended by representatives from all line agencies in the province, including the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and the DSWD.

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